The Devil in a Convent
Disney and Cats
I’ve talked before about bits of horror cinema I’d like to use a time machine to go back and watch in their original context. I stopped at seven, but a close entry for eighth place would be to see some short films of Georges Méliès when they first showed up. His effects are pretty basic—I think I said elsewhere how they’re the same sorts of things you used to do when you first got hold of a video camera—but considering people hadn’t seen them before, I’d love to gauge their reactions.
An example of something I’d like to see: from 1899, Devil in a Convent. It’s much more innocent than it sounds…apparently Satan just wants to redecorate and throw a party.
Next, we go to 1956 and a bit of the Disneyland episode The Great Cat Family. In exploring the history of kitties, you need to address superstition, so here’s that. Worth watching just for the animation alone.
For tonight’s feature film, we’re sticking with Dario Argento. It’s Phenomena (doo doo doo-doo-doo) from 1985. (When released stateside, it was called Creepers. I assume because they thought “Phenomena” (doo doo doo-doo-doo) had too many syllables for us Americans to handle.) And yes, you will recognize a young Jennifer Connelly and an old Donald Pleasence. I’m joking, but am I the only one this happens to? I know perfectly well that Pleasence was at some point a young man, but whenever I see him young, it’s a bit startling. Somehow in my mind he always looked like he did in, say, Prince of Darkness. Anyway…this film answers the question that we all ponder from time to time: can being able to communicate with insects help you when dealing with a serial killer? Enjoy.